BY HEATHER KELLER
On more than one occasion while driving on main campus or Park Avenue, I have seen students walking come very close to being hit by a car. Usually, these near-misses occur without the student even realizing it; why is that?
Well, our generation, for the most part, has become entirely consumed by our cell phones. Taking a break from staring at our screens to look both ways before crossing the street or to check to be sure a car is not backing out of parking space in front of us has become inconvenient.
My (not-so) favorite example of this is the students who enjoy playing Frogger across Park Avenue by Roncalli instead of using the designated crosswalk. Some are distracted by their phones while putting their lives at risk running through traffic on a whim, which is frustrating at best for drivers.
College students are constantly surrounded by people. Yet, we are increasingly eager to stare at phone screens to connect to people not currently with us instead of appreciating those around us.
Instead of talking to one another while waiting in line at Outtakes or Einstein’s, students typically immediately reach for their phone to avoid “awkward” conversations. It is baffling that talking to people through technology has become a norm for society.
I am from Delaware, and after spending 18 years of my life in such a relaxed and easygoing state, coming to Connecticut was a bit of whirlwind.
People, where I’m from in Delaware, tend to engage others in friendly conversation at grocery stores, or while waiting at the doctor’s office. The looks of concern and disgust that I have gotten when attempting to make conversation with people in these situations in Connecticut would shock my family (they’ll usually talk to anyone who will listen).
As I started to explore the surrounding community of Sacred Heart, I found that if you try to talk to someone, they typically ignore the gesture or reach for their cell phone as a distraction.
It all comes back to cell phones.
I understand that not every college student is glued to their cell phone constantly. Nor does the entire state of Connecticut reach for their cell phones in awkward situations. However, in my experience, these trends have been the most common.
Cell phones have become a tool to not only distract people from the real world, but parents are also allowing and even suggesting that children should stare at screens to keep them occupied.
Again, this is not a universal finding, but if you walk through a grocery store today or sit in a waiting room at a pediatrician’s office, you will likely see a lot of tablets and smartphones in the hands of children.
When the generation that is currently in college was growing up, cell phones were just beginning to become a mainstream purchase by adults. Therefore, we had to rely on our imagination to create games and keep ourselves occupied, rather than checking the App Store.
The intense reliance college students and those younger than us have on cell phones is increasing as each year passes. Going a day without our phones or technology, in general, would seem impossible for most.
I think technology is important. The advancements that have been made to improve health care and our ability to contact people all over the world with the push of a button is incredible.
However, the addiction to technology that has become increasingly apparent worries me. As do the freshmen who play Frogger on Park Ave.